Book XIV. The Enlightened, Buddha Vagga

XIV. 7. Whence come Men of Noble Birth? Text: N iii. 247-249.
Ānandattherapucchitapañhavatthu (193)

193. It is not easy to find...

This religious instruction was given by the Teacher while he was in residence at Jetavana with reference to a question asked by the Elder Ānanda.

One day as the Elder sat in his day-quarters, he thought to himself, {3.248} “The Teacher has told us whence come well-bred elephants, horses, and bullocks. ‘Noble elephants,’ said he, ‘are bred from the stock of Chaddanta or of Uposatha; See Jātaka 479: iv. 232. noble chargers from the stock of Valāhaka, king of horses; and noble bullocks are raised in the Dekkan.’ But men of noble birth, – now whence pray come they?” He went to the Teacher, saluted him, and asked him about the matter. Said the Teacher, “Ānanda, your ‘men of noble birth’, – it is not everywhere that they are born. But in the Middle Country, three hundred leagues long in a straight line and nine hundred in a circuit, – there they are born. But when they are born, it is not in any family soever that they are born, but only in a family here and there of some Khattiya or Brahman noble.” So saying, he pronounced the following Stanza,

193. It is not easy to find a man of noble birth; it is not everywhere that such a man is born;
Wherever is born a man that is steadfast, the family prospers wherein he is born.