DN27.9. Dividing the Fields

Aggañña Sutta ("The Origin of the World")

Then those beings gathered together and bemoaned, ‘Oh, how wicked things have appeared among beings! For we used to be mind-made, feeding on rapture, self-luminous, moving through the sky, steadily glorious, and we remained like that for a very long time. After a very long period had passed, solid nectar curdled in the water. But due to bad, unskillful things among us, the savory nectar vanished, the ground-sprouts vanished, the bursting pods vanished, and now the rice grains have become wrapped in powder and husk, it doesn’t grow back after reaping, the cutting shows, and the rice stands in clumps. We’d better divide up the rice and set boundaries.’ So that’s what they did.

Now, one of those beings was reckless. While guarding their own share they took another’s share without it being given, and ate it.

They grabbed the one who had done this and said, ‘You have done a bad thing, good being, in that while guarding your own share you took another’s share without it being given, and ate it. Do not do such a thing again.’

‘Yes, sirs,’ replied that being. But for a second time, and a third time they did the same thing, and were told not to continue. And then they struck that being, some with fists, others with stones, and still others with rods. From that day on stealing was found, and blaming and lying and the taking up of rods.

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