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Samyutta Nikaya

Saṁyutta Nikāya 3.4 Piya Sutta
Loved

Who are those that love themselves and those that do not love themselves?

At the city of Sāvatthī…

Seated to one side, King Pasenadi said to the Buddha, “Just now, Bhante, while I was alone in my room, this thought came to mind, ‘Who are those who love themselves? And who are those who don’t love themselves?’

“Then it occurred to me: ‘Those who do bad by body, speech, and mind don’t love themselves. Even though they may say, “I love myself,” they don’t really love themselves. Why is that? It’s because they treat themselves like an enemy. That’s why they don’t love themselves. Those who do good by body, speech, and mind, do love themselves. Even though they may say, “I don’t love myself,” they really do love themselves. Why is that? It’s because they treat themselves like a loved one. That’s why they love themselves.’”

“That’s so true, great king! That’s so true!” said the Buddha.

“Great king, those who do bad by body, speech, and mind don’t love themselves. Even though they may say, ‘I love myself,’ they don’t really love themselves. Why is that? It’s because they treat themselves like an enemy. That’s why they don’t love themselves.

“Also great king, those who do good by body, speech, and mind do love themselves. Even though they may say, ‘I don’t love myself,’ they really do love themselves. Why is that? It’s because they treat themselves like a loved one. That’s why they love themselves.”

The Buddha:

“If you really love yourself, you shouldn’t put yourself on the wrong path.
It is not easy to gain happiness for someone who does bad deeds.

“When a person is seized by Māra and is about to pass away, what can he call his own? What will he take to the next life? What will go with him like a shadow that never leaves?

“Both merit and demerit done by him in this life is what he can call his own. That’s what he takes to the next life. That’s what goes with him like a shadow that never leaves.

“That’s why you should do good things and make merit, which is the only true refuge for your future lives. Merit collected is the only support for them in the next world.”

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Saṁyutta Nikāya 3.4 Piya Sutta: Loved

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