I'm looking for a sutta wherein the Buddha explains how beings we meet in this life (family, friends, animals etc.) have all been our parents, friends, loved ones, pets etc. in previous lives. What sutta is that?

Thank you for your time.

2 Answers 2


From SN 15.14:

At Sāvatthī.

“Mendicants, transmigration has no known beginning. … It’s not easy to find a sentient being who in all this long time has not previously been your mother.

Why is that? Transmigration has no known beginning. … This is quite enough for you to become disillusioned, dispassionate, and freed regarding all conditions.”


Good householder,

Who one actually meets is a matter of tendency, a matter of past and present upanissays-paccaya (strong condition/dependence causes). The meeting of other being is a matter of Upanissaya (strong condition/relation/foundation, giving into).

'Puggalokpi, upanissaya paccayena paccayo.' Upanissaya-Paccaya

It's because of relation being ones foundation, that one is wise in nourishing relation toward 'the Sublime', toward admirable people, and to turn away from those firmly caught in the world.

In case of preferring what's given not from world-binding sources but from the Triple Gems, from those heading or having already unrelated: Mata Sutta: Mother.

A being who has not been your mother at one time in the past is not easy to find... A being who has not been your father... your brother... your sister... your son... your daughter at one time in the past is not easy to find.

One should be clear that it's hard to ever gain the path if no relation with the/a Sublime Buddha, with the Jewels.

Maybe also good on this topic are the effects of association:

[Note that this isn't given for stacks, exchange, other world-binding trades but for gain bound to relation toward escape from this wheel]

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