The Salla Sutta

The Salla Sutta is found in the Suttanipāta.  The Buddha taught the Salla Sutta for the benefit of a certain householder whose son had died. Unable to abandon his grief, the householder had not eaten for seven days.

It is not as well known as other discourses in the same collection, but it deserves to be taught more often. When affected by grief, sorrow, and despair due to loss of loved ones, or change of circumstances, there is no more effective method for the removal of grief than acceptance of the way things are.

The Pāḷi word “Salla” means an arrow or dart. Grief is self-inflicted — no one is immune from aging, disease, and death. If you understand the truth of suffering fully, you can just let go, and pull out the arrow of sorrow, grief, and despair at once.