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Samyutta Nikaya VII.14

Mahasala Sutta

Very Rich


At Savatthi. Then a certain very rich brahmin -- shabby, shabbily dressed -- went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, exchanged courteous greetings with him. After this exchange of friendly greetings & courtesies, he sat to one side. As he was sitting there the Blessed One said to him, "Why, brahmin, are you shabby & shabbily dressed?"

"Just now, Master Gotama, my four sons -- at their wives instigation -- threw me out of the house."

"In that case, brahmin, memorize these verses and then recite them when a large assembly of people have gathered in the town hall and your sons are sitting there, too.

"Those whose birth
I delighted in
-- whose growth I desired --
at their wives instigation
have chased me away,
as dogs would swine.

Wicked & vile,
though they call me 'Dad':
demons in the disguise of sons
who abandon me in old age.

As an old horse
of no more use
is deprived of fodder,
so the elderly father
of those foolish boys
begs at other people's homes.

My staff serves me better
than those disobedient sons.
    It fends off
ferocious bulls
& ferocious curs.
In the dark it goes before me;
down steep slopes, it gives support.
Through the power of my staff,
    when I stumble
    I still stand firm."

Then the very rich brahmin, having memorized these verses in the presence of the Blessed One, recited them when a large assembly of people had gathered in the town hall and his sons were sitting there, too:

"Those whose birth
I delighted in
-- whose growth I desired --
at their wives instigation
have chased me away,
as dogs would swine.

Wicked & vile,
though they call me 'Dad':
demons in the disguise of sons
who abandon me in old age.

As an old horse
of no more use
is deprived of fodder,
so the elderly father
of those foolish boys
begs at other people's homes.

My staff serves me better
than those disobedient sons.
    It fends off
ferocious bulls
& ferocious curs.
In the dark it goes before me;
down steep slopes, it gives support.
Through the power of my staff,
    when I stumble
    I still stand firm."

Then the brahmin's sons, having led him home, bathed him, and each provided him in a pair of cloths. So the brahmin, taking one pair of cloths, went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, exchanged courteous greetings with him. After this exchange of friendly greetings & courtesies, he sat to one side. As he was sitting there he said to the Blessed One, "We brahmins, Master Gotama, look for a teacher's fee for our teacher. May Master Gotama accept this teacher's portion from me."

The Blessed One accepted it out of sympathy.

Then the very rich brahmin said to the Blessed One: "Magnificent, Master Gotama! Magnificent! In many ways has Master Gotama made the Dhamma clear -- just as if he were to place upright what had been overturned, to reveal what has been hidden, to point out the way to one who is lost, or to set out a lamp in the darkness so that those with eyes might see forms. I go to Master Gotama for refuge, to the Dhamma, & to the community of monks. May Master Gotama remember me as a lay follower who has gone for refuge from this day forward, for life."

Source: ATI - For Free Distribution Only, as a Gift of Dhamma.

Dhamma Essay:
Dhamma Without Rebirth? by Bhikkhu Bodhi


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