Dhammapada Verse 128
Na antalikkhe na samuddamajjhe
na pabbatanam vivaram pavissa
na vijjati so jagatippadeso
yatthatthitam nappasaheyya maccu.
Verse 128: Not in the sky, nor in the middle of the ocean, nor in the cave of
a mountain, nor anywhere else, is there a place where one cannot be oppressed by
The Story of King Suppabuddha
While residing at the Nigrodharama monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse (128)
of this book, with reference to King Suppabuddha.
King Suppabuddha was the father of Devadatta and father-in-law of Prince
Siddhattha who later became Gotama Buddha. King Suppabuddha was very
antagonistic to the Buddha for two reasons. First, because as prince Siddhattha
he had left his wife Yasodhara, the daughter of King Suppabuddha, to renounce
the world; and secondly, because his son Devadatta, who was admitted into the
Order by Gotama Buddha, had come to regard the Buddha as his arch enemy. One
day, knowing that the Buddha would be coming for alms-food, he got himself drunk
and blocked the way. When the Buddha and the bhikkhus came, Suppabuddha refused
to make way, and sent a message saying, "I cannot give way to Samana
Gotama, who is so much younger than me." Finding the road blocked, the
Buddha and the bhikkhus turned back. Suppabuddha then sent someone to follow the
Buddha secretly and find out what the Buddha said, and to report to him.
As the Buddha turned back, he said to Ananda, "Ananda, because King
Suppabuddha had refused to give way to me, on the seventh day from now he would
be swallowed up by the earth, at the foot of the steps leading to the pinnacled
hall of his palace." The king's spy heard these words and reported to
the king. And the king said that he would not go near those steps and would
prove the words of the Buddha to be wrong. Further, he instructed his men to
remove those steps, so that he would not be able to use them; he also kept some
men on duty, with instructions to hold him back should he go in the direction of
When the Buddha was told about the king's instructions to his men, he said, "Bhikkhus!
Whether King Suppabuddha lives in a pinnacled tower, or up in the sky, or in an
ocean, or in a cave, my word cannot go wrong; King Suppabuddha will be swallowed
up by the earth at the very place I have told you."
Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:
|Verse 128: Not in the sky, nor in the middle of the
ocean, nor in the cave of a mountain, nor anywhere else, is there a
place where one cannot be oppressed by Death.
On the seventh day, about the time of the alms meal the royal horse got
frightened for some unknown reason and started neighing loudly and kicking about
furiously. Hearing frightening noises from his horse, the king felt that he must
handle his pet horse and forgetting all precautions, he started towards the
door. The door opened of its own accord, the steps which had been pulled down
earlier were also there, his men forgot to stop him from going down. So the king
went down the stairs and as soon as he stepped on the earth, it opened and
swallowed him up and dragged him right down to Avici Niraya.
End of Chapter Nine: Evil (Papavagga)