In Search Of A Thief

HAVING sent out his disciples, the Blessed One himself wandered from place to place till he reached Uruvela. On his way he sat down in a grove to rest, and it happened that in that same grove was a party of thirty friends who were enjoying themselves with their wives; and while they were sporting, some of their goods were stolen. Then the whole party went in search of the thief and, meeting the Blessed One sitting under a tree, saluted him and said: “Pray, Lord, did you see the thief pass by with our goods?”

And the Blessed One said: “Which is better for you, that you go in search for the thief or for yourselves?” And the youths cried: “In search for ourselves!”

“Well then,” said the Blessed One “sit down and I will preach the truth to you.” And the whole party sat down and they listened eagerly to the words of the Blessed One. Having grasped the truth, they praised the doctrine and took refuge in the Buddha.

The author of this story is unknown and greatly appreciated!