Trying to find the Sutta where Buddha says for some person who has come to hear him teaching something like give him to eat first, and then he can hear my teaching. There was some setup I dont remember, where it is mentioned he didnt eat / was hungry. Anyone remember which Sutta this is?


2 Answers 2


There's the hungry peasant the Buddha walked 48km in one day especially to teach [Dh.A.III.262].

The story is at the bottom of this page: https://www.urbandharma.org/udharma2/becono5.html

  • Where is the sutta from? In the link you sent it says "[Dh.A.III.262]". I looked in the Dhammapada verse 262 but it's about something else. So where is this story found in the Sutta pitaka?
    – user24100
    Sep 2, 2022 at 11:50
  • 3
    @DaydreamCastle It seems to be Dhammapada 203. Also here.
    – ruben2020
    Sep 2, 2022 at 11:58
  • 1
    @Ruben2020. Thank you kindly:)
    – user24100
    Sep 3, 2022 at 14:09

There is an interesting sutta SN1.20 where a spirit advises a monk to eat first (i.e., satisfy sensual pleasures first):

SN1.20:2.3: But you should eat first, then seek alms:
SN1.20:2.3: But you should eat first, then seek alms:
SN1.20:2.4: don’t let the time pass you by.”

The monk protests:

SN1.20:3.1: “I actually don’t know the time;
SN1.20:3.2: it’s hidden and unseen.
SN1.20:3.3: That’s why I seek alms before eating,
SN1.20:3.4: so that the time may not pass me by!”

To settle this issue, the two seek the Buddha for advice and he replies:

SN1.20:25.1: “Judging is given up, conceit rejected;
SN1.20:25.2: craving for name and form is cut off right here.
SN1.20:25.3: They’ve cut the ties, untroubled, with no need for hope.
SN1.20:25.4: Though gods and humans search for them
SN1.20:25.5: in this world and the world beyond, they never find them,
SN1.20:25.6: not in heaven nor in any abode.
SN1.20:26.1: Tell me if you understand, spirit.”

The spirit finally understands from this that eating first is simply pursuing sensual pleasure, which is painful and pointless.

SN1.20:28.1: You should never do anything bad
SN1.20:28.2: by speech or mind or body in all the world.
SN1.20:28.3: Having given up sensual pleasures, mindful and aware,
SN1.20:28.4: you shouldn’t keep doing what’s painful and pointless.”

NOTE: The relationship between transient pleasure and pain is explained in another sutta by Ven. Dhammadinnā:

MN44:24.2: “Pleasant feeling is pleasant when it remains and painful when it perishes.

Taking these two suttas together, we can understand that chasing pleasures is pointless because it results in pain with the inevitable passing of each craved pleasure. We are, however, sustained by food, so there is no point in starving, either.

SN46.2:7.1: This body is sustained by food. It depends on food to continue, and without food it doesn’t continue.

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