Chapter XVI - PIYA VAGGA - Affection



Ratiya jayati soko ratiya jayati bhayam
Ratiya vippamuttassa natthi soko kuto bhayam.

From attachment springs grief, from attachment springs fear; for him who is wholly free from attachment there is no grief, much less fear. [214]

XVI:04 The princes who fought over a courtesan

On one festival day, the Buddha entered the town of Vesali, accompanied by a group of bhikkhus. On their way, they met some Licchavi princes, who were elegantly dressed. The Buddha seeing them in full regalia said, 'Bhikkhus, those who have not been to the Tavatimsa deva world should have a good look at these Licchavi princes.' On their way to a pleasure garden, the princes met a beautiful courtesan and invited her to join them. There they quarrelled over her and soon came to blows. As a result, some of them had to be carried home bleeding.

On their way back after the almsround, the Buddha and the bhikkhus saw the wounded princes being carried home. The bhikkhus remarked, 'For the sake of a woman, these Licchavi princes are ruined.' The Buddha then replied, 'Bhikkhus, sorrow and fear arise out of enjoyment of sensual pleasures and attachments.'