Book XX. The Path, Magga Vagga

XX. 11. The Bereaved Mother and the pinch of Mustard-Seed Text: N iii. 432-433.
Kisāgotamīvatthu (287)

287. If a man be passionately devoted to sons or flocks and herds...

This religious instruction was given by the Teacher while he was in residence at Jetavana with reference to Kisā Gotamī. {3.432}

The Story of Kisā Gotamī is contained in the Sahassa Vagga, and is related in detail in the Commentary on Stanza

114. Though one should live a hundred years, the Region of the Deathless never seeing,
Yet were it better far to live a single day, the Region of the Deathless seeing.’ See Story viii. 13. [30.166]

For at that time the Teacher said, “Kisā Gotamī, didst thou get the pinch of white mustard-seed?” “Nay, Reverend Sir, that did I not. In the entire village the dead are more in number than the living.” Then said the Teacher, “Vainly didst thou imagine that thou alone hadst lost a child. But this is an eternal law for all beings. For the Prince of Death, like to a raging torrent, drags along and flings into the sea of ruin all living beings; still are their longings unfulfilled.” So saying, he preached the Law by pronouncing the following Stanza,

287. If a man be passionately devoted to sons or flocks and herds, if his mind be completely absorbed therein,
The Prince of Death will take and bear him away, even as a raging torrent sweeps away a sleeping village.

At the conclusion of the lesson Kisā Gotamī was established in the Fruit of Conversion; the assembled company also profited by the lesson.