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Samyutta Nikaya

Saṁyutta Nikāya 3.8 Mallikā Sutta
Queen Mallikā

The person most dear to us is ourselves.

At the city of Sāvatthī…

One day, King Pasenadi was on the balcony of the palace together with Queen Mallikā.

Then the king asked the queen, “Mallikā, is there anyone more dear to you than yourself?”

“No, great king, there isn’t. But is there anyone more dear to you than yourself?”

“Just the same, Mallika, there’s no one.”

Then, King Pasenadi came downstairs and left the palace. He went to the Buddha, bowed respectfully, sat down to one side, and told him, “Bhante, I was on the balcony of the palace together with Queen Mallikā. Then I asked her, ‘Mallikā, is there anyone more dear to you than yourself?’

Then she replied, ‘No, great king, there isn’t.’ And she asked, ‘but is there anyone more dear to you than yourself?’

I replied, ‘Just the same, Mallika, there’s no one.’

Then, knowing the meaning of this, on that occasion, the Buddha recited this verse:

“Having explored every direction with the mind,
one finds no-one dearer than oneself.
Likewise for others, each holds themselves dear.
So the person who loves himself, should not harm others.”

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Saṁyutta Nikāya 3.8 Mallikā Sutta: Queen Mallikā

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