Evaṁ me sutaṁ. Ekaṁ samayaṁ Bhagavā Sāvatthiyaṁ viharati Jetavane Anāthapiṇḍikassa ārāme. Tena kho pana samayena Sāvatthiyaṁ aññataro bhikkhū ahinā daṭṭho kālakato hoti. Atha kho sambahulā bhikkhū yena Bhagavā ten’upasaṅkamiṁsu. Upasaṅkamitvā Bhagavantaṁ abhivādetvā ekamantaṁ nisīdiṁsu. Ekamantaṁ nisinnā kho te bhikkhū Bhagavantaṁ etadavocuṁ. Idha bhante Sāvatthiyaṁ aññataro bhikkhu ahinā daṭṭho kālakato’ti.
Thus have I heard: On one occasion the Blessed One was living in Sāvatthi at Jetavana, at Anāthapiṇḍika’s monastery. During that time, at Sāvatthi, a monk had passed away having been bitten by a snake. Thereupon many monks approached the Blessed One, and having saluted him, sat beside him. So seated, those monks spoke thus to the Blessed One: “Oh Bhante, a certain monk at Sāvatthi has died, having been bitten by a snake.”
Naha nūna so bhikkhave bhikkhu cattāri ahirājakulāni mettena cittena phari.
Sacehi so bhikkhave bhikkhu cattāri ahirājakulāni mettena cittena phareyya, nahi so bhikkhave bhikkhu ahinā daṭṭho kālaṁ kareyya.
Monks, that monk did not radiate thoughts of loving-kindness towards the four royal tribes of snakes. Monks, had he done so, that monk would not have died of a snake bite.
Katamāni cattāri ahirājakulāni? Virūpakkhaṁ ahirājakulaṁ, Erāpathaṁ ahirājakulaṁ, Chabyāputtaṁ ahirājakulaṁ, Kaṇhā gotamakaṁ ahirājakulaṁ. Naha nūna so bhikkhave bhikkhu imāni cattāri ahirājakulāni mettena cittena phari. Sace hi so bhikkhave bhikkhu imāni cattāri ahirājakulāni mettena cittena phareyya, na hi so bhikkhave bhikkhu ahinā daṭṭho kālaṁ kareyya. Anujānāmi bhikkhave imāni cattāri ahirājakulāni mettena cittena pharituṁ attaguttiyā attarakkhāya attaparittāyā’ti.
What are the four royal tribes of snakes? They are: the royal tribe of snakes called Virūpakkha, the royal tribe of snakes called Erāpatha, the royal tribe of snakes called Chabyāputta, and the royal tribe of snakes called Kaṇhā Gotamaka. Monks, that monk did not radiate thoughts of loving-kindness towards these four royal tribes of snakes. Monks, had he done so he would not have died of a snake bite. Monks, I advise you to radiate thoughts of loving-kindness towards these four royal tribes of snakes for your safety, for your protection, and as a protective blessing for you.
Idam’avoca Bhagavā, Idaṁ vatvā Sugato athāparaṁ etada’voca Satthā.
Thus said the Blessed One. Having thus spoken, the Great Teacher, the Sublime One, further said:
1. Virūpakkehi me mettaṁ – Mettaṁ Erāpathehi me
Chabyāputtehi me mettaṁ – Mettaṁ Kaṇhāgotamakehi ca
May I have mettā towards Virūpakkhas, towards Erāpathas may I have mettā. May I have mettā towards Chabyāputtas, towards Kaṇhā Gotamakas also may I have mettā.
2. Apādakehi me mettaṁ – Mettaṁ dipādakehi me
Catuppadehi me mettaṁ – Mettaṁ bahuppadehi me
May I have mettā towards the footless. May I have mettā towards those with two feet. May I have mettā towards those with four. May I have mettā towards the many-footed.
3. Mā maṁ apādako hiṁsi – Mā maṁ hiṁsi dipādako
Mā maṁ catuppado hiṁsi – Mā maṁ hiṁsi bahuppado
Let not the footless do me harm; nor those that have two feet. Let not the four-footed do me harm; nor those endowed with many feet.
4. Sabbe sattā sabbe pāṇā – Sabbe bhutā ca kevalā
Sabbe bhadrāni passantu – Mā kañci pāpamāgamā
All beings, all living creatures, all beings who have come to birth may good fortune bless them all. May no harm come to them.
Appamāṇo Buddho appamāṇo Dhammo appamāṇo Saṅgho. Pamāṇavantāni siriṁsapāni ahi vicchikā satapadī uṇṇānābhī sarabhū mūsikā. Katā me rakkhā. Katā me parittā. Paṭikkamantu bhūtāni. So’haṁ namo Bhagavato namo sattannaṁ Sammā Sambuddhānan’ti.
Immeasurable in virtue is the Buddha; immeasurable is the Dhamma; immeasurable is the Saṅgha. Measurable are creeping creatures, snakes, scorpions, centipedes, spiders, lizards and rats, due to their defilements. I have guarded myself. I have made my protection. Depart from me, all you beings. I worship the Blessed One, and the Seven Supreme Buddhas.
Etena saccena suvatthi hotu!
By this truth, may there be well-being!