Itivuttaka: The Buddha’s Sayings

The Section of the Threes

75. A Rainless Cloud

This was said by the Lord…

“Bhikkhus, these three kinds of persons are found existing in the world. What three? One who is like a rainless cloud, one who rains locally, and one who rains everywhere.

“Now what kind of person, bhikkhus, is like a rainless cloud? Here, a certain person is not a giver to anyone; he does not give food, drink, clothing, vehicles, garlands, scents, ointments, beds, lodging, and lamps to recluses and brahmins, to the poor, destitute, and needy. This kind of person is like a rainless cloud.

“Now what, bhikkhus, is the kind of person who rains locally? Here, a certain person is a giver to some but not a giver to others. Food, drink, clothing, vehicles, garlands, scents, ointments, beds, lodging, and lamps he gives only to some recluses and brahmins, to some of the poor, destitute, and needy, but not to others. This is the kind of person who rains locally.

“Now what, bhikkhus, is the kind of person who rains everywhere? Here, a certain person gives to all. He gives food, drink, clothing, vehicles, garlands, scents, ointments, beds, lodging, and lamps to all recluses and brahmins, to the poor, destitute, and needy. This is the kind of person who rains everywhere.

“These, bhikkhus, are the three kinds of persons found existing in the world.”

Neither to recluses nor brahmins
Nor to the poor and destitute
Does he distribute his store
Of food and drink and goods;
That base person is called
“One like a rainless cloud.”

To some he does not give,
To some he offers alms;
That one wise people call
“One who rains only locally.”

A person renowned for his bounty,
Compassionate towards all beings,
Distributes alms gladly.
“Give! Give!” he says.

Like a great storm cloud
That thunders and rains down
Filling the levels and hollows,
Saturating the earth with water,
Even so is such a person.

Having righteously gathered wealth
Which he obtains by his own effort,
He fully satisfies with food and drink
Whatever beings live in need.