T 1670B Nāgasena Bhikṣu Sūtra

Part 2: Dialogues

2.57. Two Kinds of Tears

The king asked Nāgasena, “A man cries and sheds tears on the death of his parents, another man also laments and sheds tears while listening to the teachings of the Buddha. In these two cases, are they different?”

Nāgasena replied, “He who weeps for his parents is due to his attachment, his thinking of his grief, sorrow and suffering. This kind of sorrow is the sorrow of the ignorant people. He who weeps while listening to the sermon of the Buddha is full of compassion. As he thinks of the sufferings in the world, so his tears come out. He would obtain the great merit.

“Excellent, Nāgasena.”