On a certain occasion The Blessed One was dwelling at Rjagaha, in Bamboo Grove in Kalandakanivpa. And at that time the venerable Sriputta and the venerable Moggallna the Great were dwelling in the monastery called Pigeon Glen. Now it chanced that the venerable Sriputta, on a moonlight night, was seated under the open sky, with freshly shaven head, and in a state of trance. And it chanced that two demons, who were comrades, were passing on some errand from the northern quarter of the heavens to the southern. And these demons saw the venerable Sriputta, on the moonlight night, seated under the open sky, with freshly shaven head. And at sight of him, the first demon spoke to the second demon as follows:
Then the first demon, not heeding what the other demon said, gave the venerable Sriputta a blow on the head. With such a blow one might fell an elephant seven or seven-and-a half cubits high, or might split a mountain peak. Thereupon, with the cry, I am burning! I am burning! the demon fell from where he stood into hell.
And the venerable Moggallna the Great, with his divinely clear vision surpassing that of men, saw the demon give the venerable Sriputta the blow on the head. And when he had seen it, he drew near to where the venerable Sriputta was; and having drawn near, he spoke to the venerable Sriputta as follows:
O wonderful is it, brother Sriputta! O marvellous is it, brother Sriputta! How great is the magical power, and how great is the might of the venerable Sriputta! Just now, brother Sriputta, a certain demon gave you a blow on the head. And a mighty blow it was! With such a blow one might fell an elephant seven or seven-and-a-half cubits high, or might split a mountain peak. But the venerable Sriputta only says thus: I am comfortable, brother Moggallna. I am doing well, brother Moggallna; but my head troubles me a little.
O wonderful is it, brother Moggallna! O marvellous is it, brother Moggallna! How great is the magical power, and how great is the might of the venerable Moggallna that he should see any demon at all! I, however, have not seen so much as a mudsprite.
Now The Blessed One, with his divinely clear hearing surpassing that of men, heard the above conversation between these two elephants among men. Then The Blessed One, on learning of this occurrence, on that occasion breathed forth this solemn utterance: