40. THE BUDDHA PREACHING THE SERMON OF PEACE FROM THE AIR
TO PREVENT WAR BETWEEN KAPILA AND KOLIYA
Rohini river lying between Kapilavatthu and Koliya was the main source of water supply for these two cities to irrigate their lands for growing crops. At one time, when the crops became dry, the farmers from both cities went to draw water from the river when there was very little water and just enough left for them to take once only. A quarrel arose over it and there was an exchange of hot words touching the fair name of the Sakya clan. The Ministers including the one in charge of agriculture became so angry that they decided to settle this matter by battle and both sides sallied forth for a fight.
The Buddha saw, with the eye of a Buddha, that there would be much blood-shed if the relatives of both sides engaged in battle. He, therefore, went alone and sat cross-legged in the air midway between the armed forces of both sides. When they saw the Blessed One in the air, the armed forces of both sides, who were all kinsmen, laid down their arms and paid homage to Him. The Buddha then admonished them by preaching a sermon of peace saying, "Are you going to destroy your priceless lives for the sake of a little bit of worthless water?"