Simile of one putting food out and one not taking it

I can’t locate a simile where a man excoriates the Buddha and he replies by asking the man a question: If one puts out food and another doesn’t take it, who does the food belong to?

Are you thinking of SN 7.2?

At one time the Buddha was staying near Rājagaha, in the Bamboo Grove, the squirrels’ feeding ground.

The brahmin Bharadvāja the Rude heard a rumor that a brahmin of the Bharadvāja clan had gone forth from the lay life to homelessness in the presence of the ascetic Gotama. Angry and displeased he went to the Buddha and abused and insulted him with rude, harsh words. When he had spoken, the Buddha said to him:

“What do you think, brahmin? Do friends and colleagues, relatives and family members, and guests still come to visit you?”

“Sometimes they do, Master Gotama.”

“Do you then serve them with a variety of foods and savories?”

“Sometimes I do.”

“But if they don’t accept it, brahmin, who does it belong to?”

“In that case it still belongs to me.”

“In the same way, brahmin, when you abuse, harass, and attack us who do not abuse, harass, and attack, we don’t accept it. It still belongs to you, brahmin, it still belongs to you!


Thank you, Christopher, that’s exactly what I was looking for!

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You forgot to add the link to Ven @yodha’s illustration!