A strangely moving verse

In SN 7.14 we find the poignant story of a well-to-do brahmin thrown out of his home by his ungrateful sons. The Buddha gives him spirit in his dark times, when all he has left are some shabby clothes and an old staff to lean on. He teaches the brahmin some verses, suggesting that he recite them at the public assembly. I won’t tell you the rest of the story: spoilers!

But I found the concluding verses to be strangely moving. I don’t know, maybe I’m just emotional these days, but for a homeless beggar, with nothing, no home, no family, no food, to show such gratitude; it seemed like something rare and wonderful to me.

Even my staff is better
than those disobedient sons,
for it wards off a wild bull,
and even a wild dog.

It goes before me in the dark;
in deep waters it supports me.
By the wonderful power of this staff,
when I stumble, I stand firm again.


This is a beautiful Sutta. Another example of the Buddha’s down to earth heart and wisdom, and the resilience of this Brahmin, who even in sadness and misfortune found strength in his staff, which then lead him to the Buddha. In these difficult days, maybe one’s staff is the Dhamma and recollections of the Buddha, in today’s deep waters, supporting us.


sounds like it became an :zap:“enchanted”:zap: staff!

+3 resistance to sadness :grin:


strangely a wild dog seems to be considered more dangerous or harder to be warded off with a staff than a wild bull