II.7: Ekaputta Suttam
The Only Son
Translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.
For free distribution only.
[II-7.1] I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Savatthi, in Jeta's Grove, Anathapindika's monastery. Now at that time the dear and beloved only son of a certain lay follower had died. So a large number of lay followers -- their clothes wet, their hair wet -- went to the Blessed One in the middle of the day and, on arrival, having bowed down to him, sat to one side. As they were sitting there the Blessed One said to them: "Why have you come here -- your clothes wet, your hair wet -- in the middle of the day?"
When this was said, the lay follower said to the Blessed One, "My dear and beloved only son has died. This is why we have come here -- our clothes wet, our hair wet -- in the middle of the day."
Then, on realizing the significance of that, the Blessed One on that occasion exclaimed:
Tied down by what's dear and alluring,
heavenly beings, most people,
worn out with misery,
fall under the sway of the King of Death.
But those who, day and night,
heedfully abandon what's dear,
dig up misery
by the root --