The 27th sutta of the Dīgha Nikāya. An influential early discourse notable for its narration of a creation myth which explains the stages through which the universe and human society are said to evolve at the start of each new kalpa or cosmic cycle. The myth describes how beings at this stage are ethereal but, motivated by greed, begin to consume matter and gradually acquire denser bodies. In due course there occurs sexual differentiation and procreation, and human societies organized on caste lines come into being. Due to greed, wickedness arises and a king is elected to enforce the law. The purpose of the story is to refute the Brahmin tradition (see Brahmanism) that their caste enjoys an intrinsically privileged status due to being created from the mouth of Brahmā. In contrast, moral conduct is declared to be more important than lineage. The first part of the story is also recounted in the Mahāvastu.