Poor, but not poor

Dalidda Sutta SN 11.14

On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling at Rajagaha in the Bamboo Grove, the Squirrel Sanctuary. There the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus thus: “Bhikkhus!”

“Venerable sir!” those bhikkhus replied. The Blessed One said this:

“Bhikkhus, once in the past in this same Rajagaha there was a poor man, a pauper, an indigent. He undertook faith, virtue, learning, generosity, and wisdom in the Dhamma and Discipline proclaimed by the Tathagata. Having done so, with the breakup of the body, after death, he was reborn in a good destination, in a heavenly world, in the company of the Tavatiṃsa devas, where he outshone the other devas in regard to beauty and glory.

“Thereupon the Tavatiṃsa devas found fault with this, grumbled, and complained about it, saying: ‘It is wonderful indeed, sir! It is amazing indeed, sir! For formerly, when this young deva was a human being, he was a poor man, a pauper, an indigent. Yet with the breakup of the body, after death, he has been reborn in a good destination, in a heavenly world, in the company of the Tavatiṃsa devas, where he outshines the other devas in regard to beauty and glory.’

“Then, bhikkhus, Sakka, lord of the devas, addressed the Tavatiṃsa devas thus: ‘Dear sirs, do not find fault with this young deva. Formerly, when this young deva was a human being, he undertook faith, virtue, learning, generosity, and wisdom in the Dhamma and Discipline proclaimed by the Tathagata.

Having done so, with the breakup of the body, after death, he has been reborn in a good destination, in a heavenly world, in the company of the Tavatiṃsa devas, where he outshines the other devas in regard to beauty and glory.’

“Then, bhikkhus, instructing the Tavatiṃsa devas, Sakka, lord of the devas, on that occasion recited these verses:

“‘When one has faith in the Tathagata,
Unshakable and well established,
And good conduct built on virtue,
Dear to the noble ones and praised;

“‘When one has confidence in the Saṅgha
And one’s view is straightened out,
They say that one isn’t poor;
One’s life is not lived in vain.

“‘Therefore the person of intelligence,
Remembering the Buddha’s Teaching,
Should be devoted to faith and virtue,
To confidence and vision of the Dhamma.’”

Source: Dalidda Sutta SN 11.14 SN i 497 https://suttacentral.net/sn11.14

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