A little question.

As I remember it it's the story of someone who supported his aged parents. He did this by taking loose river clay -- without digging it -- making it into pots, and leaving the pots, without setting a price. People would take the pots and leave in exchange whatever they chose to, and thus he supported his parents. This was portrayed as praise-worthy, ethical.

It's perhaps not a sutta but, I don't know, perhaps one of the stories from the Dhammapada or something like that. Or possibly it's later but I thought it was from the Pali canon.

1 Answer 1


This is the story of the lay potter Ghatikara from MN 81, who lived in the time of Buddha Kassapa.

From MN 81:

Ghaṭīkāra has gone for refuge to the Buddha, the teaching, and the Saṅgha. He doesn’t kill living creatures, steal, commit sexual misconduct, lie, or take alcoholic drinks that cause negligence. He has experiential confidence in the Buddha, the teaching, and the Saṅgha, and has the ethics loved by the noble ones. He is free of doubt regarding suffering, its origin, its cessation, and the practice that leads to its cessation. He eats in one part of the day; he’s celibate, ethical, and of good character. He has set aside gems and gold, and rejected gold and money. He’s put down the shovel and doesn’t dig the earth with his own hands. He takes what has crumbled off by a riverbank or been dug up by mice, and brings it back in a carrier. When he has made a pot, he says, “Anyone may leave bagged sesame, mung beans, or chickpeas here and take what they wish.” He looks after his blind old parents. And since he has ended the five lower fetters, Ghaṭīkāra will be reborn spontaneously and will become extinguished there, not liable to return from that world.

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