WARREN: BUDDHISM IN TRANSLATIONS

214

 

 


 

 

Ī 39. The Cause of Inequality in the World

Translated from the Milindapañha (65.11)

Said the king, "Bhante Nāgasena, what is the reason that men are not all alike, but some long-lived and some short-lived, [215] some healthy and some sickly, some handsome and some ugly, some powerful and some weak, some rich and some poor, some of high degree and some of low degree, some wise and some foolish?"

Said the elder, "Your majesty, why are not trees all alike, but some sour, some salt, some bitter, some pungent, some astringent, some sweet?"

"I suppose, bhante, because of a difference in the seed."

"In exactly the same way, your majesty, it is through a difference in their karma that men are not all alike, but some long-lived and some short-lived, some healthy and some sickly, some handsome and some ugly, some powerful and some weak, some rich and some poor, some of high degree and some of low degree, some wise and some foolish. Moreover, your majesty, The Blessed One has said as follows: 'All beings, O youth, have karma as their portion; they are heirs of their karma; they are sprung from their karma; their karma is their kinsman; their karma is their refuge; karma allots beings to meanness or greatness.'"

"You are an able man, bhante Nāgasena."

 


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