Itivuttaka 22

This was said by the Blessed One, said by the Arahant, so I have heard: “Monks, don’t be afraid of acts of merit. This is a synonym for what is blissful, desirable, pleasing, endearing, charming–i.e., acts of merit. I directly know that, having long performed meritorious deeds, I long experienced desirable, pleasing, endearing, charming results. Having developed a mind of good will for seven years, then for seven eons of contraction & expansion I didn’t return to this world. Whenever the eon was contracting, I entered the [realm of] Radiance. Whenever the eon was expanding, I reappeared in an empty Brahma-abode. There I was Brahma, the Great Brahma, the Unconquered Conqueror, Total Seer, Wielder of Power. Then for thirty-six times I was Sakka, ruler of the gods. For many hundreds of times I was a king, a wheel-turning emperor, a righteous king of Dhamma, conqueror of the four corners of the earth, maintaining stable control over the countryside, endowed with the seven treasures1 –to say nothing of the times I was a local king. The thought occurred to me, ‘Of what action of mine is this the fruit, of what action the result, that I now have such great power & might?’ Then the thought occurred to me, ‘This is the fruit of my three [types of] action, the result of three types of action, that I now have such great power & might: i.e., generosity, self-control, & restraint.’”

Train in acts of merit

that yield the foremost profit of bliss–

develop generosity,

a life in tune,

a mind of good will.

Developing these

three things

that bring about bliss,

the wise reappear

in a world of bliss



1. The seven treasures are a divine wheel, an ideal jewel, an ideal elephant, an ideal horse, an ideal wife, an ideal treasurer, an ideal counselor.

See also SN 3:4, SN 3:17, SN 3:20, SN 3:25; §60