Samyutta Nikaya
Kosala Saṁyutta

SN 3.10 Bandhana Sutta

Attachment is a far stronger bond than chains and shackles.

Now, at that time, a large group of prisoners had been secured with ropes, with chains, and with wood and had been punished by the soldiers of King Pasenadi.

Then several monks dressed in their robes in the morning, took their bowls and double-layered robes, and entered the city of Sāvatthī for alms. Then, after the meal, when they returned from the alms round, they went up to the Buddha, bowed respectfully, sat down to one side, and told him about the prisoners.

Then, on that occasion, the Buddha recited these verses in relation to that incident:

“Wrong doers are sometimes secured by ropes, chains and wood.
However, wise people don’t call those types of bonds, ‘strong bonds.’
Wise people say the strongest bond is the attachment
people have for money, jewellery, spouses and children.

“That kind of attachment is so strong, so subtle,
that it might drag people to a world of misery.
It is very hard to be freed from such bonds.

“However, there are heroes who cut even such strong bonds
and become monks,
They let go of sense pleasures
without any expectation of enjoying them again.”

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Saṁyutta Nikāya 3.10 Bandhana Sutta: Shackles

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