One time the Buddha was staying in Savatthī, at Anāthapindika’s park in Jeta’s grove. In the middle of the night, a resplendent deity approached him, illuminating almost all of the entire grove with its lustrous light.
The deity approached the Buddha and paid homage to him. Standing to one side, it asked the following question:
How, human, did you cross the flood of suffering?
Without standing firm, friend, and without struggling I crossed the flood.
But how is it, human, that by neither standing firm nor struggling you crossed the flood?
When I stood firm,
I sank down,
But when I struggled
I was carried away.
So by neither
I crossed the flood.
The deity then uttered this verse in the Buddha’s presence:
a very long time,
I’ve seen a Brahmin,
Neither standing firm
He has crossed over
to the world.
That’s what that deity said. The teacher approved it, and the deity, realising he had been approved by the teacher, paid homage to him. After circumambulating the Buddha, the deity disappeared on the spot.