Nagasena Bhiksu Sutra 2.38

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T 1670B Nāgasena Bhikṣu Sūtra

Part 2: Dialogues 2.38. Causes of Inequality in Humanity

The king asked Nāgasena, “In this world, all men are complete with head, beard, hair, skin, face, eyes, ears, mouth, nose, body, and the four limbs of arms and legs, but why among them, are some of long life, others of short life; some have many diseases, others have few diseases; some are poor, others are rich, some are noble, others are mean; some are from large families, others are from small families; some are handsome, others are ugly; some enjoy the confidence of others, others are suspected; some are intelligent and filial, others are stupid; why are they not the same?”

Nāgasena replied, “It is just like the fruits of the same kind of trees, some are acid, astringent; some are bitter, some are pungent, some are sweet, some are really sour.”

“Why are they different since all are produced from the same kind of trees?” asked Nāgasena.

The king replied, “They are different, because their seedlings are different.”

“It is just the same with regard to people. Because each person thinks differently in his mind so people in this world have various differences. Some have a short life, others have a long life; some have many diseases, others have few diseases; some are rich, others are poor; some are noble, others are mean; some are from large families, others are from small families; some are handsome, others are ugly; some speak words of confidence, others speak useless words; some are intelligent, and others are stupid.”

Then Nāgasena said, “That is why the Buddha said: ‘In accordance with one’s own good and bad actions, one will reap the results. Among them, some are rich, others are poor; all are due to their actions, good and bad done in the past. They will reap the results respectively according to their virtue.’”

“Excellent, Excellent, Nāgasena.”