16.



Once upon a time the Exalted One was in residence at Savatthi, in Eastern Grove, in Visakha Mother of Migara's mansion. Now at that time Visakha Mother of Migara's granddaughter had died, and she was Visakha's darling and delight. And Visakha Mother of Migara, garments wet, hair wet, at an untimely hour approached the Exalted One. And having approached, she saluted the Exalted One and sat down on one side. And as she sat there on one side, the Exalted One said this to Visakha Mother of Migara: "Well, Visakha, how is it that you come here at such an untimely hour, approaching with garments wet, with hair wet?" "Reverend Sir, my granddaughter has died, and she was my darling and delight. That is why I approach at such an untimely hour, with garments wet, with hair wet."

"Should you like, Visakha, to have as many children and grandchildren as there are human beings in Savatthi?" "I should like, Reverend Sir, to have as many children and grandchildren as there are human beings in Savatthi." "But, Visakha, how many human beings die every day in Savatthi?" "Reverend Sir, ten human beings die every day in Savatthi, nine...eight...seven...six...five...four...three...two...one. My granddaughter, Reverend Sir, is in no class by herself, apart from the other human beings who die in Savatthi." "What think you, Visakha? Should you ever, at any time, be without garments wet, without hair wet?" "No indeed, Reverend Sir."

"Verily, Visakha, they that hold a hundred dear, have a hundred sorrows;...ninety...eighty...seventy...sixty...fifty...forty...thirty...twenty...ten...nine...eight...seven...six...five...four...three...two...one. They that hold nothing dear, have no sorrow. Free from grief are they,--free from passion, free from despair. So say I."

Whatsoever griefs or lamentations or sorrows
Are in the world, of whatsoever sort or kind,
Arise because of something that is held dear.
If nothing be held dear, these arise not.

Therefore they only are happy, they only are free from grief,
Who hold absolutely nothing in this world dear.
Therefore whoever desires to be free from grief, free from passion,
Should hold absolutely nothing in this world dear.