31. KING KOSALA ASKING THE HERETICAL TEACHERS
IF ANY OF THEM CLAIM TO BE THE BUDDHA
Even before the Blessed One had attained the Supreme Enlightenment of a Buddha, there were six heretical teachers who wandered about towns and villages and deceived many people by professing themselves to be Buddhas. When they arrived at Savatthi, the ministers who had faith in these wandering ascetics informed King Kosala that their teachers were all Buddhas. King Kosala said to the ministers, "Please invite your teachers yourselves and bring them to this palace".
When these heretical teachers arrived at the palace, they dared not sit upon the magnificent seat of the king and some of them sat upon the floor, while others sat on the carpets. The King saw how they were scared and guessed that none of them could be the Buddha. He asked them a direct question, "Do you admit that you are the Buddha or deny it?" They frankly admitted, "We are not the Buddha". They were then allowed to leave the palace in peace.