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   Buddhist Writings.
The Harvard Classics.  1909–14.
 
II. The Doctrine
 
Love for Animals
 
[SUBLIME STATE OF FRIENDLINESS]
Translated from the Culla-Vagga (v. 6.)
 
 
NOW at that time a certain priest had been killed by the bite of a snake, and when they announced the matter to The Blessed One, he said:  1
  “Surely now, O priests, that priest never suffused the four royal families of the snakes with his friendliness. For if, O priests, that priest had suffused the four royal families of the snakes with his friendliness, that priest, O priests, would not have been killed by the bite of a snake. And what are the four royal families of the snakes? The Virupakkhas are a royal family of snakes; the Erpathas are a royal family of snakes; the Chabyputtas are a royal family of snakes; the Kanhgotamakas are a royal family of snakes. Surely, now, O priests, that priest did not suffuse the four royal families of the snakes with his friendliness. For surely, O priests, if that priest had suffused the four royal families of the snakes with his friendliness, that priest, O priests, would not have been killed by the bite of a snake. I enjoin, O priests, that ye suffuse these four royal families of the snakes with your friendliness; and that ye sing a song of defence for your protection and safeguard. After this manner, O priests, shall ye sing:
        “‘Viruakkhas, I love them all,
The Erpathas, too, I love,
Chabyputtas, I love them, too,
And all Kanhgotamakas.
 
“‘Creatures without feet have my love,
And likewise those that have two feet,
And those that have four feet I love,
And those, too, that have many feet.
 
“‘May those without feet harm me not,
And those with two feet cause no hurt;
May those with four feet harm me not,
Nor those who many feet possess.
 
“‘Let creatures all, all things that live,
All beings of whatever kind,
See nothing that will bode them ill!
May naught of evil come to them!
  2
  “‘Infinite is The Buddha, infinite the Doctrine, infinite the Order! Finite are creeping things: snakes, scorpions, centipedes, spiders, lizards, and mice! I have now made my protection, and sung my song of defence. Let all living beings retreat! I revere The Blessed One, and the seven Supreme Buddhas!’ ”  3
 

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