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Verse 62: The Story of Ananda, the Rich Man

While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse (62) of this book, with
reference to a miserly rich man, named Ananda.

There was once a very wealthy man named Ananda in Savatthi. Although he possessed eighty
crores, he was very reluctant to give anything in charity. To his son, Mulasiri, he used to say, "Don't
think the wealth we have now is very much. Do not give away anything from what you have, for you
must make it grow. Otherwise your wealth will dwindle away." This rich man had five pots of gold
buried in his house and he died without revealing their location to his son.

Ananda, the rich man, was reborn in a village of beggars, not far from Savatthi. From the time his
mother was pregnant, the income of the beggars decreased; the villagers thought there must be a
wicked and unlucky one amongst them. By dividing themselves up into groups and by the process of
elimination, they came to the conclusion, that the pregnant beggar woman must be the unfortunate
one. Thus, she was driven out of the village. When her son was born, the son proved to be extremely
ugly and repulsive. If she went out begging by herself, she would get as before, but if she went out
with her son she would get nothing. So, when the boy could go out by himself, his mother placed a
plate in his hand and left him. As he wandered about in Savatthi, he remembered his old house and
his past existence. So he went into the house. When the sons of his son Mulasiri saw him, they were
frightened by his ugly looks and began to cry. The servants then beat him and threw him out of the

The Buddha who was on his alms-round saw the incident and asked the Venerable Ananda to fetch
Mulasiri. When Mulasiri came, the Buddha told him that the young beggar was his own father in his
previous existence. But Mulasiri could not believe it. So, the Buddha directed the beggar boy to
show where he had buried his five pots of gold. Then only, Mulasiri accepted the truth and from
that time he became a devoted lay-disciple of the Buddha.

Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:

Verse 62. "I have sons, I have wealth"; with this (feeling of attachment) the fool is afflicted.
Indeed, he himself is not his own, how can sons and wealth be his?

Translated by Daw Mya Tin, M.A.,
Burma Pitaka Association, Rangoon, Burma 1986.

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